Friday, 22 June 2012

What is civic pride

Is This Shepton's Vision Of Civic Pride

Since the decision by the Town Council to spend £15,000 on an ill defined feasibility study for the civic hall, I along with cllr Dunscombe, Irene Handley have been walking the streets collecting signatures against this plan.

We have seen astonishing developments this week.

On Monday we held our first meeting to discuss how we were to tackle the Town Council, because their decision to spend £15,000 without feasibility brief, without the identification of need or identification of anything.

We decided to arrange a petition, the Council had rejected the Town poll,  of those who voted 90% did not want the Town Council to proceed with a Civic Hall, our thinking is that if 400 plus of voters were not enough the if we could produce more, this could convince the Council they were barking up the wrong tree.

Then on Tuesday Somerset BBC radio did a piece on the Civic Centre, the leading light on the Town Council stated

1. A local community hub for local agencies - Youth Club Closed, the Tourist Info Centre, been asked?, others unspecified no hard facts there then!

2. Capital fund since 2008 - the Town Council sold Great Ostry ten years ago or so 100K of the fund came from it's sale.

3. He said 4% turned out, actually it was over 6% of which 90% voted against what %is 50 people who wanted the civic building, surely same side of the coin!

4. They are nowhere near a feasibility brief and the feasibility study can be concluded  in 6 weeks?

With such a grasp of figures should we continue?

Then on Wednesday a local Architect posted that he had carried out a feasibility study for the Town Council, with an image of what the " Shepton Mallet Civic Hall" this to be at Collett Park.

I have emailed the Architect asking if  he can confirm the Shepton Mallet Town Council instructed you to carry out the works below?

Feasibility studies have been carried out for Shepton Mallet Town Council with the idea of providing a new community and public building to host a number of events such as town council meetings, weddings, town council offices, meeting rooms and a cafe. Located adjacent to Collett Park in the centre of the town.

The new building will hopefully provide a new hub to the town and to promote the town centre’s revival.

Can you inform me of whom contracted you to carry out this feasibility study, on what date were you instructed to carry out this work and what was the nature and methodology of your work and the cost agreed to perform this task?

I have not yet received a response.

On Wednesday evening we started our petition, what a response! What is interesting over 90% of people are agreeing that at this time a Civic Hall or is not what this town needs, with a handful agreeing with a Civic hall, with slightly more than a handful not interested in the issue.

The public are very angry, comments like "crazy", "how dare the spend money on this whilst the kids have to raise their own money for the skateboard park", "waste of money", "another crazy idea", "more worthwhile things to spend on", and finally "sort yerselves out"

This evening we had another evening collecting signatures, we are well on our way to collecting a huge number by the 3 July, I'm sure if the Council do not listen then we'll get even more signatures.
The thing talking to people is you realise the sense of place is not defined by palatial palaces, people who are struggling, realise that this Civic Hall is a million miles from the needs of our Town.

I can list; the risk to our hospital, Youth centre closed, very, very limited bus service after six pm in the evening and Sundays, the community have a multitude of concerns that the council should be dealing with.

Councils are there to run high quality services, they are not there to compete with the private sector for weddings and corporate events, I believe community cohesion is very important, Councils needs to access the needs of the community and cross match with health and social needs and social  economic data. Then put in coherant plans to deliver what the community wants.

From this week the community is showing extreme cohesion, sadly against the Council that is meant to represent Shepton.

Now that is sad.

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